Saturday started off really well, especially for Eric. As I was sitting in the lobby checking email, Eric showed me his fantabulous Montblanc 149 with a factory broad stub that he bought from Sarj. Let me remind you that this was only 8 in the morning. Things were only going to get better from here. In the photos below you can see Sarj and the nearly 3 tables he had occupied that were filled with mostly vintage pens. I’ve never seen so many vintage pens in such excellent condition as those on Sarj’s table. I saw Parker Vacumatics with clarity that I’ve never seen before. It was like they came straight from the 1940’s.

After drooling over Eric’s 149 for several minutes we decided to get some breakfast from Uncle Bill’s Pancake House. We had a pretty nice view of the ocean and of a Fisker Karma. I still can’t decide which I liked best.

Getting back to the things that mattered, I couldn’t help but stop back by Kevin Cheng’s table to see more of his stunning Danitrios. Kevin and Tom are two of the nicest people I’ve met at the show.

And where was Eric? At Brian Gray’s table, of course. He ordered a custom Mina with urushi work done by Ernest Shin.

It was nearly impossible to ignore the table of Rich Littlestone of Argent Blue. He was right next to Brian Gray and had some fabulous Conway Stewart fountain pens on display that he worked on. He’s responsible for the guillocé that adorns so many Conway Stewart pens. It really is beautiful work and my pictures hardly do it justice. Rich also does the damascus work on the ends of the pens. He heats the metal which brings out those stunning colors.

Then, right next to Rich was Scott from Franklin-Christoph. Can you start to see how you can spend multiple days at a pen show? Scott had some really great stuff to show me and this is where I actually bought my first pen of the show: the Model 25. It’s a very interesting design that has intrigued me since I first saw pictures of it. You can be sure we’ll feature it in an Awesome Review sometime soon. They also had many great leather products like their 6 and 13 pen Penvelopes and their new 20 and 40 pen cases.

Finally heading inside the show room I was able to get up close and personal with Artus, a Russian pen making company who specializes in very limited edition, hand painted pens. They’ve been in business for around 20 years mostly doing limited editions for Ancora and Krone. But just 2 years ago they started producing their own pens under the Artus line. The largest number of pens they will produce in a single collection is 11 pens. Many are custom one-off’s. The level of detail achieved in their paintings is pretty extraordinary. To achieve such fine details they use a brush with as little as three bristles. Prices for Artus pens range from $800 to $3000.

After speaking with Sergey Zgudov of Artus, I made my way back to John Mottishaw’s table where I found Eric waiting in line to have a nib adjusted and to purchase a custom ground nib for his newly acquired faceted Namiki Capless. Once Eric sat down a line of about 4 quickly formed behind him. John was this busy the entire day. Had we not beat people away with tazers and night sticks John would have never had time to eat lunch.

Heading away from John’s table out into the outer edge of the show, I ran into Scott from Franklin-Christoph who introduced me to Dave Wager of Tree Ring Pens. He makes some incredibly cool pens and I suggest you check out his website if you’re not familiar with is work.

Eric and I then dropped by Michael Sull’s class to snap a few pics and see how things were going. He was putting on an all day seminar on penmanship. When we entered the room not one person looked away from what they were doing to see who had caused the disruption. Every person there was extremely focused on Michael and what he was saying.

After visiting Michael’s class Eric and I got some lunch and tested our setup for the live stream that will be taking place on Sunday at 10am PST on UStream. We’ll discussing the few news topics that hit the site before we left for the show and then focusing on what we saw and some of our experiences during the show. To finish things off we’ll switch to a wireless camera and walk through the show floor so you can get an idea of how packed it is.

To finish the day we stopped by the Conway Stewart table and had a great discussion with Mary Burke, and Rik Knablein of RiKwill Pens. It was another fun day and I can’t wait to see what Sunday brings! Be sure to join us on our live stream.

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  • Lireoec

    Sunday 10 AM pst. That’s really early, but I’ll definitely try to make it! Ah Eric I see you’ve acquired another masterpiece from Gray and Shin. I am a pretty big fan of urushi myself and Mina has definitely got to be one of my favourite designs since I am a sucker for small pens. Can’t wait to see your custom Mina! I’ve been eyeing Franklin-Christoph pen cases for a long while now, I think that will probably be my next purchase since my collection is getting to be a decent size. That sounds so much fun since one could take the pen that they’d recently purchased and attend a handwriting seminar with Michael Sull, that would be an honour indeed. So many wonderful things, so little time! I can definitely imagine spending every single day there and leave wanting more!

  • mark speight

    Drool. There is currently a moratorium on pen buying in the Speight household. My strategy to lift said moratorium / blockade is to invite my pretty wife to the next pen show.

  • James Waters @penfancy

    Thank you for covering and high-lighting this show!
    I’ve been following your podcasts for just one week now but have listened to almost all of them while shaving to driving and whenever I have a chance. I’m definitely a pen geek and I’m glad to know of others out there with my condition!

  • subbes

    Oh man. It is difficult to explain my envy.

  • Tamara

    What timing! I believe it is just about 10 a.m. on Sunday, and I just checked this :) Can’t wait to hear more about the pen show, though I’ve done well enough thank you from home, buying two pens this weekend.

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